Assassination triggers third front in Syrian civil war
A key commander of the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army was killed recently by Syria’s al Qaeda rebels, a sign the opposition to the Bashar al-Assad regime is fracturing and Islamist rebels are on the rise.
Kamal Hamami, the FSA commander, was killed as he went to a meeting of al Qaeda-backed rebels to discuss joint operations against the Syrian army, a U.S. official said, confirming Middle East press reports. Continue reading
Tens of thousands of Russian troops have been placed on alert after a suspected Israeli airstrike destroyed advanced, Russian missiles recently delivered to Syria.
Last week, in the Syrian port city of Latakia, several pre-dawn explosions were reported to have destroyed advanced Russian missiles that had recently arrived and were being temporarily stored at the port. A spokesman for the opposition Free Syrian Army, describing the July 5 attack, said Tuesday that “It was not the FSA that targeted this. It is not an attack that was carried out by rebels.” The FSA spokesman, Qassem Saadeddine, went on to say “This attack was either by air raid or long-range missiles fired from boats in the Mediterranean.” The suggestion is that Israel was behind the attack. The Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles, it is speculated, could have been considered a threat to Israel’s naval forces. Continue reading
Washington’s decision to arm Syria’s Sunni Muslim rebels has plunged America into the great Sunni-Shia conflict of the Islamic Middle East, entering a struggle that now dwarfs the Arab revolutions which overthrew dictatorships across the region.
For the first time, all of America’s ‘friends’ in the region are Sunni Muslims and all of its enemies are Shiites. Breaking all President Barack Obama’s rules of disengagement, the US is now fully engaged on the side of armed groups which include the most extreme Sunni Islamist movements in the Middle East. Continue reading
Berlin, (SANA)- German “Die Welt” daily said that only 5% of the armed terrorists in the so-called Free Army are Syrians, while 95% of them are extremist groups which came from several African countries to jihad in Syria baked by the Gulf and Arab countries.
The daily quoted intelligence experts in Germany as saying : ” The German intelligence has an official and detailed account of the nationalities of the rebels in Syria and their locations in the country,” Continue reading
The Syrian opposition has identified senior Iranian and Russian officers
assigned to help the Assad regime. The Free Syrian Army said Iran and Russia
were helping the Syrian Army and security forces with tactics, technology
and operational planning.
“We warn all the snakes to go back to their dens whether it is Russia,
Iran and Iraq or Lebanon,” FSA said in a statement on Aug. 9.
The United States has asserted that Moscow was sending senior officers and other personnel to advise the Assad regime. U.S. officials said Russian advisers were maintaining Syria’s air defense network, which in June shot down a Turkish Air Force F-4 fighter-jet.
FSA has also abducted scores of Iranians later identified as members of
the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. On Aug. 8, Iranian Foreign
Minister Ali Akbar Salehi acknowledged that former IRGC officers had been
captured by Sunni rebels.
Full article: Russian, Iranian advisors spotted in Syria by opposition (World Tribune)
NICOSIA — Iran was said to have poured thousands of elite troops
The Syrian opposition said thousands of members of Iran’s Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps have arrived in Syria. Opposition sources said the Iranian troops came from special operations units, with many of them skilled in sniper and explosives.
Al Oqueidi, chairman of the rebel military council in Aleppo, said the
Iranians were meant to replace the tens of thousands of Sunni who deserted the Syrian Army. He said at least 3,000 of the IRGC troops were trained in sniper missions.
The Iranians were said to have been participating in Assad military
campaigns in both Aleppo and Damascus. In Aleppo, an estimated 20,000 Syrian Army troops were awaiting orders to invade the nation’s business capital and largest city.
The military has reported that it regained control over the Damascus
area. In an unusual move, the Army led a tour for journalists of former
rebel positions on Aug. 3.
“We have cleansed all the districts of Damascus, from Al Midan to Mazeh,
from Al Hajar Al Aswad to Qadam to Tadamun,” a Syrian Army officer said.
The Free Syrian Army said many of the IRGC personnel in Syria were in
civilian clothes. FSA said it captured 48 IRGC officers outside Damascus
International Airport disguised as pilgrims and part of a 150-man
“During the investigation, we found that some of them were officers of
IRGC,” an FSA officer said in a video statement. “They were on a
reconnaissance mission in Damascus.”
Full article: Iran to the rescue: Thousands of special ops troops said arriving in Syria (World Tribune)
Western diplomatic sources said the administration of President Barack Obama has ordered the U.S. intelligence community to ensure the ouster of Assad in 2012.
The sources said Obama, urged by allies that range from France to Saudi Arabia, was persuaded that without U.S. intervention, Al Qaida would emerge as the leading force in Syria.
“The game is on the ground,” the diplomat said. “The political opposition in exile has no control or even influence in Syria, while FSA is seen as active, even if that is not really the case.”
The sources suggested that Washington was already involved in major operations against the Assad regime. The operations were said to have included a failed FSA attempt to poison the regime leadership, particularly Assad’s powerful brother-in-law, Assaf Chawkat.
Full article: Obama to U.S. intelligence: Oust Syria’s Assad in 2012 (World Tribune)